Editorial: The “BEND” sign shouldn’t come to an end

Published May 22, 2014 at 12:01AM

The landscaped sign that spells “BEND” at the south end of town may be doomed by new construction. The berm is no longer getting watered.

We’d like to see it reborn.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is working on a new interchange, connecting Third Street and U.S. Highway 97. The existing sign will be farther from the new road, at least another 50 yards. The location and the likelihood that the shrubs will wither suggests it should be allowed to go.

A new sign in a better location should replace it. We don’t know if a landscaped sign requiring irrigation is the best idea. Low maintenance sounds good.

An important entryway to Bend deserves something more than the usual simple highway sign announcing Bend’s population and exits. Bend should have something that better reflects its character and dynamism.

Justin Finestone, a spokesman for the city, says the city is open to suggestions once construction is complete. But the city has plenty of important priorities for its tax dollars. It also doesn’t make much sense to ask the Bend Park & Recreation District to take it on.

The community has no shortage, though, of people willing to donate time and ideas to improve the community. Bend’s southern entryway would be a great target for them.